BERLIN, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel held on Wednesday telephone talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the situation in Ukraine, said German government spokesman Steffen Seibert.
Merkel called for clarification of reports on the presence of Russian troops on the Ukrainian territory in the telephone conversation.
Russia has repeatedly denied sending troops or military hardware into Ukraine and called on Kiev to stop the "civil war" raging in the east part of the country, which claimed more than 2,000 lives.
Merkel said, the contact group, consisting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Russia and Ukraine, must intensify their efforts to achieve a ceasefire and an effective border security.
Merkel, who called on Russia to do its part, also stressed the great responsibility of Russia for a deescalation and for monitoring their own border.
As Seibert said, both sides agreed that the talks on the implementation of the European Union (EU) association agreement, and on the gas supplies between Russia and Ukraine with involvement of the EU should be continued.
Putin, Poroshenko hold first bilateral meeting in Minsk
MINSK, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday held a bilateral meeting in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, the first one since the latter took office in May, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
"A bilateral meeting is underway ... there are very many topics for discussion," Itar-Tass news agency quoted Peskov as saying. Full story
Tripartite meeting holds on Ukraine crisis, regional economic ties
MINSK, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Heads of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, the three states of the Customs Union (CU), plus Ukraine and representatives from the European Union (EU) met here Tuesday to discuss the Ukraine crisis and economic cooperation.
"Though the sides held radically opposite views on some issues, everybody agreed that a dialogue is necessary," Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said after the summit. "It is also necessary to de-escalate tensions (in eastern Ukraine), release hostages and avert humanitarian disaster." Full story